Will Bafana Bafana return offer Lyle Foster home comforts?

By Joel Oliver

Burney striker Lyle Foster will be hoping for a change in fortunes after returning to the Bafana Bafana squad ahead of the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Foster has been out of the team since October 2023 and missed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after taking a break due to mental health issues in November.

It meant watching from home as Bafana Bafana reached the semi-final, and eventually finished third at the tournament in the Ivory Coast, something that will fuel his desire on his return for the matches against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Poor goal return in the Premier League

The striker returned to action in December and became an integral part of Vincent Kompany’s squad in the Premier League, starting eight matches while scoring one goal, before an injury sidelined him for one month.

He was back in March and got selected in the final 10 matches of the season as the Clarets fought to avoid Premier League relegation before they fell short and went back down.

Foster managed one goal during this period but earned high ratings in nine of the 10 matches as he also contributed greatly to the team’s attacking play.

However, strikers are still judged on goals and having managed five and three assists in 24 games, many Burnley fans will feel he fell short even if he still had problems to deal with off the pitch.

Foster enjoyed great form in Bafana colours

Returning to Bafana Bafana therefore gives him an opportunity to rediscover his form given camaraderie within the camp and his good record in national team colours.

Foster had scored three goals in four games for South Africa, having netted twice in a 2-1 win against Liberia in March 2023, before his goal secured a 1-0 victory past DR Congo in a friendly match last September.

It is the kind of form the striker and his coach would want to see again as South Africa missed his movement and incisiveness at the AFCON even if they surpassed expectations.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.